Grand Rapids is giving a reason for people to be grateful for the little things


During 2020, we lost the ability to be with people. We lost the ability to communicate and meet new people. We lost a lot of human interactions that were deemed “normal.” While people had a more positive mindset going into the new year of 2021, The World of Winter festival happened this past week as a way to keep people’s hearts warm during a chilling time.

The World of Winter festival is put on annually in downtown Grand Rapids but now in a now COVID-19 friendly way. Ice sculptures are lining the main streets of the busy city, and there are people of all ages enjoying the little things in life, such as a chunk of ice shaped as the Black Panther. 

There were a lot of people walking the streets of downtown GR, but I never felt like I was breaking social distancing. However, while being closer to larger winter attractions like Rosa Parks circle, I did begin to have COVID-19 at the forefront of my mind; overall I felt safe.

Along with being content about the mass of people respecting unspoken guidelines, I would have to say the ice sculptures that I saw were unlike anything I had ever seen before. 

When someone tells me that they made an ice sculpture, I think of a small snowman sculpted from a block of ice, not a three-foot Bryant Lakers Jersey full of colors. I was nothing short of impressed by just the more simplistic sculptures as well. I think each individual artist did an amazing job of incorporating the stores and restaurants that would be showcasing their art into the actual sculpture itself. Outside of a Mexican restaurant the artist decided to carve a taco wearing a sombrero to encompass what the restaurant was all about.

It was so amazing to see a group of people come together again. 

There are people of all ages enjoying the little things in life, such as a chunk of ice shaped as the Black Panther. ”

It was so amazing to see a group of people enjoy little things.

Since COVID-19 hit Michigan, its residents have been more grateful for the simple joys in life that they’re given, and the number of people that showed up to look at ice sculptures really reiterated this for me.

Downtown GR outdid itself with the simplest of things. 

As well as ice sculptures, I went to see the light-up 3D shapes that are near the Ford museum a few weeks prior to this weekend. Although the six-foot prisms didn’t have a lot to them, people wanted something to do, something to take their minds off of everything going on in the world. While the social distancing was kept less often than the people viewing the ice sculptures, I think these prisms were a good way to show that the people of Grand Rapids need something to remind them that even the little things matter most in 2021. 

With all of the art that Grand Rapids has been presenting to people, I can’t wait to see what else comes. I’m so glad to see people enjoying things again; what Grand Rapids is doing is shining a thin line of hope into an ultimately hopeless situation.